Conservative media go for conspiracy theories on the whistleblower report

The release Thursday morning of the whistleblower report regarding President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has spurred a predictable narrative among right-wing media figures: It’s another big conspiracy.

Hugh Hewitt, the right-wing talk show host and NBC News/MSNBC contributor, tweeted:

Mollie Hemingway, a senior editor at The Federalist and Fox News contributor, claimed that the reason the whistleblower complaint corroborates media reports is because they are all in on the massive, coordinated conspiracy:

Hemingway also promoted Hewitt’s tweet, claiming that “smart people” will figure out that the Ukraine story is really a distraction from the upcoming inspector general report on the Russia investigation:

Rush Limbaugh also elucidated on the supposed grand conspiracy during his radio show:

Limbaugh on the whistleblower report: "It has been planned and orchestrated"

Audio file

Citation From the September 26 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Radio Show

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): So, I’m sitting here, my friends, all morning long, experiencing deja vu, because we’ve been here and we’ve done that, and we’re doing it over and over and over again. And I think the Democrats' plan is to have one of these phony scams/scandals every month up, up until the next election. This is as -- what’s the word -- baseless as the whole Russian collusion story was baseless. This whole whistleblower thing — you know who I think the whistleblower is? I think it's Fusion GPS. I think it's the same players. I think it's the same playbook, and it's the same play. Rather than Russian interference, now it’s Ukraine. Regardless, the president is meddling in an election. He meddled in the 2016 election — except that he didn’t. Except that there is no evidence, there never was any evidence. Every attempt to manufacture believable evidence failed. That’s the key: Every effort to manufacture believable evidence failed — and yet, here they are again.

The whole thing has been manufactured. It has been planned and orchestrated, between the Democrats in politics and the Democrats in media. [House intelligence committee chair Rep.] Adam Schiff has had the whistleblower complaint since August. They have been waiting for what they think is the opportune time to unveil this, because this phone call with Ukraine happened some months ago. And so this all tied to the House deciding, Pelosi deciding, to try to convince everybody that she has actually convened impeachment proceedings, which she hasn't.

And Fred Fleitz, former chief of staff of the National Security Council under Trump, opinion writer, and Fox guest, posted a Twitter thread of his own troubled thoughts about the whistleblower report — including the suggestion that it’s a vast conspiracy:

Fleitz concluded that this whistleblower report is a grievous “violation of trust” by the intelligence community and that “it would not surprise me if IC officers are barred from all access to POTUS phone calls with foreign officials.”

Even a Fox Sports host got in on the action. Radio host Clay Travis tweeted his take, complete with a reference for football fans: